The following contains spoilers from the Feb. 22 episode of Chicago P.D. Proceed accordingly.
Chicago P.D.’s Adam Ruzek hasn’t formally adopted Makayla, but Burgess has added him as her legal guardian, and he’s been a father figure to the young girl ever since.
With him being so heavily involved in Makayla’s life, does mean the Intelligence cop wishes she would call him dad now? Portrayer Patrick John Flueger doesn’t think so.
“I think he’d be surprised if she made that choice,” Flueger tells TVLine. “If he was ever comfortable with her making that choice, it would be her as a young adult.”
Makayla has endured several traumas thus far, including her immediate family being murdered, her uncle trying to gain sole custody, being kidnapped, and now witnessing her adoptive mother’s scary panic attack.
“That’s a kid that’s going to grow up quick,” Flueger notes. “I don’t think he’s in any rush to have some sort of title. I think he already feels it. Burgess has the parenting on lockdown. He’s happy being her friend if nothing else. Obviously, he’s going to step in and do dad mode when he can, but I think just being part of her life is what his goal was, not so much having a specific title.”
Ruzek immediately jumped into dad mode during Burgess’ panic attack at the top of Wednesday’s episode, which was titled “Trapped” and marked the 200th episode for the series. He kept things calm with Makayla — giving her a small task and assuring the scared child that her mom would be fine — while helping Burgess steady her breathing. That incident was one of several panic attacks throughout the hour, which Marina Squerciati found to be daunting.
“When you look at a script, and you’re like, ‘Oh, man, I have three or four panic attacks. How do I build this journey? How do I did make each one distinct? How do I not blow everything on the first one, not have anything left for the last? What informs each one differently?’ That, to me, was my actor panic,” Squerciati shares. “It’s a lot to bring to a 42-minute show — three or four panic attacks. That was my cross to bear, trying to figure that one out.”
According to Flueger, there was a lot of pressure around the landmark episode. “Everybody was rushing, rushing, rushing to the point where there were people in tears. It was that ambitious because there was so much stress, and we have to get this in the next two minutes — something that should have taken 10. And then they say action, and Marina having to then let go of that chaos and make it believable on camera is insane,” he recalls.
“I got to sit back and pay attention to what she was going through,” he adds. “But if I saw anything really difficult happening on set, it was the amount of pressure and speed put on the days… That moment between action and cut, taking it and owning it is very difficult at times. You really have to make a concentrated effort to put all that other crap away.”